Seashells, Spells & Caramels
By Erin Johnson
I run a small bookclub on Facebook (feel free to request to join). At the end of every month I have my members make suggestions and then we vote and the winning book becomes our Book of the Month for the next month. We have all month to read it and then we have a live discussion on the book. When Seashells, Spells & Caramels was suggested by one of my members I had to look it up. I was already looking for a good October book to read and I had never heard of this one so I wanted to check it out. It didn’t take long for me to know I wanted this on my TBR list even if the rest of the group didn’t want it. Thankfully most of the members all had the same idea and decided they wanted to try this book out.
Let me tell you, this book did not disappoint! This book opens up on Imogen living an ordinary mediocre life. She has a job she’s not a huge fan of, but isn’t terrible despite a boss who isn’t the nicest. We learn that Imogen is adopted and baker with dreams of opening her own bakery. She has been working hard on her own to save up the money she needs. Shes very close to her goal when the story starts. At the of end of the day she encounters her rather rude boss in a bit of a pickle as she no longer has a baker for her rehearsal dinner. After debating if she should help this unkind women out, Imogen offers to bake for her. She works hard well into the night. She accomplished the task though it appeared it would be impossible.
Her cupcakes are a huge hit, and the frosty uptight boss, Victoria, savours her cupcakes and enjoys them so much that she finally relaxes and starts to enjoy the night. It seems Imogen’s baking was just the item needed to help out, but just maybe there was just a touch of something else hidden in those sweet savory desserts. Ben, the fiance, hands Imogen her check for baking with a bit extra. Imogen was now ready to open her own bakery. This was the last bit she needed to finally start her dream.
One of the guest approach Imogen winking and talking about her magical cupcakes and tell Imogen she needs to enter the contest and hand her a flyer about a baking contest for the new royal baker.
Imogen goes home happy and carefree as she realizes her dream is about to come true. Finding herself unable to sleep that night she gets up and decides she should like the amazing candles Victoria let her have after the rehearsal. On whim she decided to bake for the contest. The directions were to bake, wrap baked good in the flyer, and to then wait. No address left, Imogen wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not, but decided she could figure out where to mail it to later. She baked. She was happy, she wanted to celebrate. Wrapping up her baked good she sits down to take a break.
The next thing she knows is that she’s waking up to the smoke alarm going off and she’s barely got time to warn the rest of the residents in her apartment building to get out. Her dreams had gone up in flames and she has nowhere to go and now no money. She had the clothes on her back and nothing else. Sitting and feeling sorry for herself a stranger approaches and Imogen learns that she has been accepted into the baking contest and on a whim she decided to take off to this unknown place in the hopes of winning this contest and securing a job and new life.
Imogen enters this new world, she finds herself at a place that becomes an island at night unable to get off. She finds talking flames that she must somehow befriend to help her bake. She meets new friends, or maybe they aren’t truly friends. Imogen struggles with simple magic task and finds all the helpful advice confusing. Faces seem almost to change from one second to the next. Who is friend and who is foe? Suddenly a contestant is murdered and Imogen finds herself a suspect and must figure out who is the murderer before she is blames for the awful event.
I loved everything about this story. The corny moments. Iggy, the flame, is full of sarcasm and humor, but also so much bitterness and hurt and Imogen must find a way past all of that if she wants to succeed in this contest. Hank’s hot and cold is always leaving Imogen uncertain. This was such a cute story and a quick read. I think it was the perfect October read for me.
Erin Johnson really knows how to build up this world and drag us into it. I highly suggest reading this book. There are 7 other books out and another one on the way. They are all sort to read which makes them really easy to read. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.